Season five of “Selling Sunset,” which dropped on April 22 on Netflix, shows the rise and fall of Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim’s relationship.
Stause, who joined the Oppenheim Group in 2018, revealed she was dating the Oppenheim Group co-owner with an Instagram post in the summer of 2021. But by December, they had split due to differing desires over starting a family.
The series gives an intimate look at the behind-the-scenes of their relationship. The couple exchanges “I love you’s” on camera. Or, more specifically, Oppenheim tells Stause “I’m in love, babe” over dinner.
Previously unaired footage from Season Five was played at the first-ever ‘Selling Sunset’ reunion, during which Oppenheim called Stause “the love of my life.”
And if you find yourself rooting for Stause and Oppenhiem to succeed, you’re not alone: Many of their colleagues, including Mary Fitzgerald, who previously dated Oppenheim, voice their support for the couple in season five. So does Oppenheim’s mom, who quickly launches into questions about when the couple would be getting married.
Here’s everything we learn about their relationship, in their own words.
The 'J. Lo effect' and the July 2021 Instagram post that started it all
The series kicks off in the summer of 2021, when Stause and Oppenheim are on vacation with “Selling Sunset” co-stars in Greece.
By then, they’re a couple. Stause said their relationship blossomed before the trip. “We originally had this trip planned to bounce around Europe, just a group of friends. Then, Jason and I became best friends. Then we became more friends and I feel like it’s the first time I’ve really been my full self and I don’t have to change anything,” she said in episode one. “I guess it’s true what they say: Sometimes what you’re looking for can be right in front of you.”
During this Mediterranean voyage, the couple went public on Instagram. In July 2021, Stause teased her new relationship by sharing some photos of them getting cozy during their Italian vacation. She captioned the pics, “the JLo effect.”
In season five, cast member Christine Quinn makes fun of the post. “When I first heard the news about Jason and Chrishell, I was a little confused by the caption. I believe she captioned it, ‘The JLo effect.’ But the J. Lo effect is when you were dating someone prior, you took a break and then you dated someone again,” she explained in season five, episode two of the real estate show.
The New York Times notes that “the J. Lo effect” can be a way to describe personal success, riffing off singer Jennifer Lopez’s many accomplishments.
Their relationship began in quarantine, and Stause said they 'did not see it coming'
Speaking to TODAY, Stause said she and Oppenheim didn’t start to think of each other as potential partners until the coronavirus pandemic shrunk their social circles.
"It was obviously a pleasant surprise."
“So you have your small group of people that you end up hanging out with and it just kind of happened where I think what started as something that was a little, you know, just going to be really light and nothing, you know, no feelings, nothing like that … it just really took a turn,” she told TODAY in November 2021. “And it really kind of surprised both of us of what we kind of saw for the future and I think it was obviously a pleasant surprise.”
“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. But nobody’s more surprised than both of us. I mean ... we did not see this coming,” Stause added.
Stause said she could ‘be herself’ in the relationship
Stause spoke about what it was like to date Oppenheim after years of friendship in "Selling Sunset." She described it as being “backwards of any relationship” she had been in prior, because she could be herself.
That wasn’t always the case. “One time I hired a chef to cook a meal to pretend I did it, and then he left. I’m just saying there was none of that,” Stause said in the show. “I’ve just been myself because of the way it started, and it was nothing romantic.”
They started off as ‘best friends’
As Stause explained in her memoir, their relationship had a foundation of friendship. “Jason was there for every breakup I had, and every bad day, and we became close through all those conversations. He became my best friend,” she wrote.
This was the first time Stause dated someone she was friends with first, and the experience was a good one. “I’ve never had a situation happen before where I became best friends with someone first,” she told Entertainment Tonight in November 2021. “It’s just been so kind of freeing. My complete whole self — good, bad, indifferent. Whatever. It’s the best way to do it.”
“We knew everything about each other,” Stause continued. “We worked so well together, and we have so much respect for each other. That’s a really good formula to start a relationship.”
It took a while to get together because they aren’t each others’ ‘types’
In “Selling Sunset,” Stause noted that she didn’t see anything romantic in Oppenheim at first because he was shorter than her. She said she always saw him that way for “a long time.”
“He had a type before and so did I. I had a height thing, I’ll be honest,” Stause said. “I didn’t even see him like that. It’s so funny.”
The duo didn’t know how strong their feelings were for one another until they shared a kiss. “What could have ended up with us laughing and saying, ‘What were we thinking?’ instead kicked off my first relationship where I’ve felt like I can be 100 percent myself,” Stause said.
Stause opened up about their sex life on 'Selling Sunset'
On season five, episode nine of “Selling Sunset,” Stause opened up about her and Oppenheim’s sex life when she went lingerie shopping with co-worker Heather Rae El Moussa (née Young).
“He’s seen me wear some crazy stuff. I choose my bedwear to let him know what’s going to happen,” Stause said with a smile, before referencing a beautiful satin nightgown that caught her eye.
“If I wear something like that, it’s like, you may pass go. You may collect $200,” she joked.
Oppenheim compared them to George and Amal Clooney
While talking about her relationship with fellow agent Emma Hernan in season five, episode two of “Selling Sunset,” Stause revealed that Oppenheim once compared their romance to George and Amal Clooney’s.
“I was like, ‘I love that,’” Stause said of the reference.
She said that the reference made sense because George was known as a bachelor until he met his wife, Amal, who Stause called his “equal.”
"I’m not trying to say I’m like her,” she joked — but Hernan said she understood what her friend meant.
The conversation then turned to bachelordom. “These bachelors, it’s so frustrating when they say that they want a relationship and then they don’t really want that and their actions do something else,” Stause explained. “And then their actions end up hurting you.”
“So I feel like we just wait and see what happens,” she added about her and Oppenheim. “But for now, I feel like things are going really well.”
From friends to lovers to exes in Dec. 2021
“Selling Sunset” also addresses why the couple didn’t work out after less than a year of dating, despite their evident happiness.
Ultimately, it comes down to differing desires for starting a family. Stause wants kids. While Oppenheim tells Stause she would be an “exceptional” mother, he is less sure about whether he wants to be a dad.
As they embark on an egg fertilization process, Stause poses an ultimatum. Ultimately, he doesn’t want to have kids, and they break up. For Stause, it was devastating — she said the relationship felt like she had “figured out the code for life.”
“That’s what I think is hard. When it’s locked in, and I got it. I figured out the code to life. I’m so happy and I’m with someone that respects me ... it’s everything I ever dreamed of.”
Though they are no longer a couple, Stause told Andy Cohen during a February appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” that she doesn’t find it “awkward” to continue working with her ex.
“Only if alcohol is involved,” she joked.
Oppenheim said he still loves Stause post-breakup
Ahead of season five's release, Oppenheim spoke to Us Weekly about the "extremely difficult" decision to end the relationship.
“I love her still. I always will. She’s a great woman so there’s just a lot of loss there. It’s been a difficult process, far more difficult than I thought and it’s gonna take a lot longer than I thought," he said.
“It doesn’t help that I have to re-watch it and then go to a reunion and talk about it. It’s gonna be a tough few weeks ahead,” he said.
They process their 'very difficult breakup' during the Season Five reunion
A tearful Oppenheim spoke about the break-up to host Tan France during the Season Five reunion.
“There’s a sadness and loss I think and watching the show made it more difficult, brought it back up,” Oppenheim said. “It’s been a few months but I’m still just going through stuff and I think there was a lot of love between us, and I still care about her very much, this has been a very difficult breakup.”
Stause echoed how difficult the post-breakup journey has been, given their fond feelings for one another. “It makes it very difficult when you still have feelings there,” Stause said. “It’s easier to get over someone when they piss you off, in this case it’s just been a little more tough.”
Stause is currently in a relationship with the Australian singer G Flip.